Recap: Search Engine Strategies (SES) Chicago 2009: Put down the bullhorn, engage your audience, measure everything
It’s becoming abundantly clear that conferences catering to professionals in digital media, public relations, and online marketing are shifting from forums that sometimes promote unsubstantiated tactical tips, tricks, and buzz words into educational events focusing on what really matters — profitable business strategies. To my surprise, Search Engine Strategies (SES) Chicago was a show that withheld the pontification of “best practices” and instead hammered home the value proposition of smarter strategic planning, as well as the importance of measuring both return on investment (ROI) and lifetime value (LTV) of the customer or consumer.
Until very recently, most discussions about marketing and ROI rarely led to the measurement of each and every facet of a campaign in terms of cost of goods sold, labor costs, and any other operating expenses that go into running a successful business. Not anymore. Marketers are starting to embrace simple models of multi-source attribution. ROI figures are, in essence, rewarded to several business units or departments, such as sales, customer service, and marketing, in addition to multiple marketing campaigns and platforms such as email, banner ads, and social media.
LTV was a recurring theme in every session, breakout group, and keynote address. The transformation from push marketing to pull marketing is upon us, as more businesses begin to realize how effective campaigns in digital media can be when they embrace the social consciousness. There was a common thread among sessions: Bullhorn marketing is dead, long live relationships. Social isn’t just transforming the news business, it’s also impacting the way we do business, the way we interact with clients, and the way our businesses are evaluated.
SES Chicago provided a wealth of information and incredible insight from industry thought-leaders in every track session, and showcased effective, results-driven strategies each day of the show. We’ll amortize all of that great content over the coming weeks in my upcoming posts, and those from Nicholas Shin, Marketwire’s social media and search marketing specialist (author of Marketing Shindig and voice of @marketwire on Twitter.) Stay tuned.